KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Longtime city leader Jack Sharp passed away over the weekend. According to his obituary, the former Knoxville vice mayor and city councilman was 87.
Sharp served 28 years on city council, until 2003. He was vice mayor for more than a decade.
“Very collegial, very effective and probably the most influential vice mayor in a long time in part due to the longevity that he had as a member of council,” said former Knoxville mayor Victor Ashe, who served alongside Sharp.
Ashe said Sharp is the longest-serving vice mayor in the city’s history.
“His 14 years as vice mayor overlapped my 16 years as mayor. He served actually 28 years on city council, so half the time he was the vice mayor of the city, which meant he was the leader of city council,” Ashe said.
Ashe also reflected on what was important to Sharp as vice mayor.
“He certainly wanted to make sure services were delivered and people in all parts of Knoxville were taken care of, regardless of income level or ethnic background or whatever. He was really a people’s council member,” Ashe said. “He was always friendly to those who he didn’t agree with as well as those who did. He always took the attitude that his opponent didn’t have to be his enemy.”
After Sharp’s recent passing, this is how Ashe thinks he’ll be remembered: “I think he’ll be remembered as a person who cared about Knoxville, who gave 28 years of his life as a member of council, and who was always there to respond to calls.”
According to Sharp’s obituary, family will receive friends from 5 – 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Bridges Funeral Home. They’ll meet the following day for a graveside service at Greenwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to a church or charity of your choice.